Happy 35th Birthday, Chapin Family Practice

Congratulations to Chapin Family Practice! They’re celebrating 35 years of serving patients in the Chapin area with compassionate family care.

From adult and pediatric well visits to minor surgery, Chpain Family Practice is dedicated to the people of its community.

Additional services include allergy medicine injections, colonoscopy, colposcopy, gynecological care, immunizations, laceration repairs, minor orthopaedic care with casting, pulmonary function testing, sports physicals, stress testing and upper endoscopy procedures.

Learn more or schedule an appointment at ChapinFamilyPractice.com

Everyday Heroes at LMC: Eric Ashton

In this column, find out more about outstanding Lexington Medical Center employees.

Eric Ashton knows how to go the distance. As a competitive runner, he has traveled the country pursuing his fitness goals.

“One of the coolest things about being an adult athlete is still being able to compete at a high level. I feel gifted in my ability to compete among the best athletes in South Carolina,” said Eric.

Eric Ashton

Among his accomplishments, Eric is a 15-time South Carolina United States Track and Field Association “Runner of the Year,” seven-time South Carolina United States Track and Field Association “Master Runner of the Year” and a nine-time collegiate All-American. He is currently ranked as the eighth best runner in the state and the top master runner, and is the former and current holder of 12 running records in the state.

A graduate of the University of South Carolina in Columbia with a master’s degree in exercise science, Eric works as a physician assistant at Southeastern Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice.

“Athletics has taught me how to work through difficult situations, pushing through fatigue and the other challenges we face as clinicians every day. I have the ability to counsel patients who are interested in pursuing fitness goals, as well as individuals I meet in the community.”

In addition to his professional and personal accomplishments, Eric has served as cross-country coach at Heathwood Hall Episcopal School and as a marathon coach for the S.C. Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

“I owe my athletic success and a tremendous debt of gratitude to the amazing individuals who have touched my life and inspired me – from my coaches and fellow athletes to those at Heathwood Hall and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Team in Training,” he said.

To someone interested in starting a running program, Eric’s advice is simple.

“Be gentle on yourself and try not to time your pace. Enjoy being out in nature, feel the air in your lungs and move as naturally as your body will allow. Start walking, progress to fast walking and then to running. Spend time on your flexibility and core strength to give you the lift you need to maintain your running gait.”

In the future, Eric hopes to stay on the competitive running circuit in S.C. and participate in some national races. He would also like to support another competitive racing team.

“I really want to help others achieve their fitness goals.”

Eric Ashton’s Running Performances
Mile – 4:17
5K – 14:13
5 Mile – 23:45
10K – 29:37
13.1 Miles – 1:06:34
26.2 Miles – 2:17:58

Working Well: Common Hazards in the Office Workplace

By Dana Rawl, MD, MPH

Even though we tend to minimize dangers in comfortable, environmentally controlled office settings, there are still hazards contributing to injury or illness. Recognizing and eliminating or mitigating these office hazards is a primary prevention goal to reduce workplace injury and illness. Three of the common causes for injury in the office setting are slips, trips and falls, ergonomic-related injuries, and eye strain.

Slips, trips and falls are the most common cause of injury in an office setting. Wet floors, uneven floors, exposed electrical cords or computer cables, loose rugs or cluttered areas contribute to most slips, trips and falls. Anticipate icy, snowy or wet weather by placing non-slip matting at door entrances and exits, treating outdoor walkways with ice-melting products or sand, and posting notices for potential hazards, such as washouts or curbs. Clean up spills immediately and use wet floor warning signs. Using skid- resistant carpet on otherwise slick flooring helps reduce falls. Do not stand on chairs, tables or any surfaces other than an appropriate step ladder to reach something at an elevated height. Maintain clutter-free walkways and offices to avoid trips over boxes or stacked files. Keep file drawers closed, and route computer cables and electrical cords out of walkways or rolling chairs. Consider corner mirrors to reduce collisions with other workers coming around a blind corner.

Ergonomic injuries are usually repetitive or positional injuries leading to musculoskeletal strains, tendon or nerve injuries. These injuries are prevalent in the office workplace as most workers are primarily seated during the day as they perform repetitive tasks. Understanding and implementing proper ergonomic design with training can reduce ergonomic-related injury. Adjustable workstations that accommodate body size variations of workers are key in fitting the workstation to the worker. Adjustable chairs with lumbar supports help maintain a neutral posture with both feet on the floor to reduce back fatigue and strain. Positioning of the mouse and keyboard to keep the elbows at a 90-degree angle with the wrists in neutral alignment with the forearms and hands helps reduce hand pain, fatigue and numbness.

Dr. Dana Rawl

Neck strain can be reduced by positioning the computer monitor slightly lower than eye level and by providing document holders to reduce repeated head and neck movement. Make sure the worker is familiar with how to adjust furniture correctly.

Eye strain is another frequent complaint in the office workplace. Long hours of computer use can contribute to eye strain. Taking a 10-minute break periodically to focus the eyes on more distance objects may help reduce eye strain. Headaches are common with eye strain. Florescent lights may be too bright for computer work and should be dimmed, or desk lamps may be more suitable. Glare from outside lighting should be reduced with window shades and/or computer glare screens, or the monitor should be positioned opposite windows to reduce eye strain. Monitors are optimum for viewing at 20 to 26 inches from the eyes and slightly below eye level. Avoid any squinting to see the computer screen. Change font size if needed and have your eyes examined for accurate vision correction by your eye doctor if necessary.

Reducing injuries and illnesses in the office setting involves an understanding and awareness of potential hazards on the part of supervisors, as well as an active program to provide education and training to employees on hazard recognition, prevention and intervention. Observations and monitoring of the worksite with an honest reporting system can lead to elimination or reduction in workplace hazards and, in turn, work-related injuries and illness.

Maurer, Roy. “Five Common Office Hazards to Prevent.” Society for Human Resource Management. Oct 29, 2013.
Claussen, Lauretta. “Recognizing Hidden Dangers: 25 Steps to a Safer Office.” Safety + Health. National Safety Council. June 1, 2011.

Lexington Medical Center’s Occupational Health has certified doctors focused on workplace wellness and specializing in occupational and environmental medicine. Read more articles like this one by visiting OccuapationalHealthLexington.com and clicking on Working Well Magazine.